Police in the US have charged a man with fatally stabbing his girlfriend and her dog, leaving her bodies for her 11-year-old son to discover.
The Saunders County Sheriff’s Office has arrested Kolton Barnes on charges of first-degree murder, tampering with evidence, child abuse, and animal cruelty.
Police allege the 25-year-old killed his fiancée Kayla Matulka, 27, at her home in Malmo, Nebraska.
Authorities received a report of a dead woman shortly before 9.30am on July 15, according to Sheriff Kevin Stukenholtz.
Kayla’s 11-year-old son found her body and ran to a nearby house for help.
“He told the neighbour he thought his mother was dead,” the sheriff told reporters.
The neighbour went to the home and found Matulka dead from multiple stab wounds.
KETV reports Barnes was immediately identified as a suspect and arrested hours later.
At the time of his arrest, he allegedly told detectives: “I wish I could have stopped myself.”
He also allegedly killed Kayla’s dog, a black Labrador retriever named Diesel.
According to the Fremont Tribune, the couple got engaged back in March and were planning to get married in October.
Barnes is not the father of Kayla’s two children, the paper reports.
Pictures posted on Kayla’s Facebook last week show the pair posing together for photographs.
Sheriff Stukenholtz told reporters the children are now with their father who lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.
KETV cited court documents reporting the suspect admitted deleting a text message he sent to Kayla, allegedly threatening to kick down the front door after she told him to leave.
Barnes is also alleged to have told police he thought “all day” about “why I didn’t take myself last night too,” indicating he thought about suicide.
He is being held without bail and didn’t enter pleas to the charges during his arraignment on Monday.
Barnes will be back in court again on July 30.